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UN chief urges General Assembly to remain ‘forever vigilant’ in combating forced labor

UNITED NATIONS (Xinhua) -- Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres on Monday urged General Assembly to remain 'forever vigilant' in combating forced labor.
Guterres made the remarks at the General Assembly commemorative meeting for the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the transatlantic Slave Trade.

A general view of the General Assembly commemorative meeting for the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the transatlantic Slave Trade at the UN headquarters in New York.

Lasting for over 400 years, the abominable buying and selling of human beings, the largest forced movement of people in history, was "inhumane and shameful", Guterres said.
Eleven years ago, the UN General Assembly established the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade to acknowledge the horrific trafficking in human lives.
On this Day we must also recognise the role played by many of our countries, including my own, Portugal, in robbing millions of people of their homes, families, dignity and lives and profiting from their misery, the UN chief said.
The UN's Remember Slavery Programmeme and UNESCO's Slave Route Project are among the initiatives that, through education and outreach, contribute to more inclusive societies, Guterres said.
"This observance was established not only to acknowledge a dreadful chapter in human history, but also to shine a spotlight on the dangers of racism and prejudice today," he said.
Although the transatlantic slave trade was abolished in the 1800s, it continues to affect social, cultural and political interaction among people and countries, Guterres said in his remarks on the special day.
This tragic mass human suffering must be recounted to younger generations through education that offers an accurate reflection of historical accounts, including the many acts of bravery and resistance carried out by slaves, he said.
It is equally important to highlight the enormous contributions of people of African descent across the world, the UN chief said.
Guterres mentioned among others, the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr. to human and civil rights are of such global renown and eternal value that they need no description.
He suggested people to see an exhibition currently on display in UN visitor's lobby, which highlights the work of contemporary architects of African descent in different parts of the world.

 

 

(Latest Update March 28, 2018)


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